|WikiProject Computing / Software|
Talk Page for original Formula Calculator article
I would like to respond to the comment that the Formula calculator article is written like an advertisement. My first step in doing this was to run the article past a few people, and their unanimous opinion was that it was not blatant advertising, although there is an advertising element because I use my own product as an example, and I give a reference to my own web site.
Could someone please comment about the article from the advertising point of view? Is it the content, and do I need to make radical changes, or is it a matter of wording and emphasis?
I have read the guidelines on self-published sources, and I will need to re-read them with a view to doing something about my site reference.
I have rewritten the article from a more neutral point of view.
I have done this partly by responding to the comments of work colleagues and friends that the article discussed, to a large extent, what formual calculators were not (by contrasting them with button-operated calculators), rather than saying what they were. To say more about what formla calculators are, I have included a section on Written-formula calculation and discussed the commonly used infix notation and how it is implemented in a calculator.
Also, from the NPOV guidelines I have removed words such as limitations, safe and easy, that could be seen as opinions. Among other things, this has resulted in the removal of the section Automatic, safe and easy calculations.
I have left the section on button-operated calculators, although now shorter and with the title Button-operated calculations, because I believe that one legitimate technique for defining something is to contrast it with something similar. I believe the section is consistent with NPOV because it is supported by references.
I have left in the reference to my own site, because I don't believe it violates the guidelines - I am not giving it as an authority on the definition, but simply as an example along with 5 others. I have also included a section, with references, on hybrid calculators.
In the next few days, unless I get any comments, I will make these changes to the article. At the same time, should I also remove the comments about advertising and self-published sources, or is this the province of an administrator?
I have applied the changes described above, in an attempt to adhere more closely to NPOV.
Having done this, I have removed the Advert and Self-published Source banners, because they were added to the article before the re-writing, and so, unless I haven't gone far enough, and unless someone disagrees and decides to re-instate them, they no longer apply to the current version.
I have been unable to talk to the person(s) that added the banners, because they didn't sign the changes, and I didn't get any contributions to this discussion, so I hope I have done the right thing in removing them.
Well the D.A.L. article is not the best of all - But somehow I can't see the fundamental difference between Formula calculator and D.A.L. The fundamentals (Type in a formula from the keyboard. - Press a button or key to see the formula’s value) are the same for both. Somehow it seems they are two marketing terms for the same underlying principle. I therefore suggest merge.
Also Arithmetic Logic (A.L. - no article yet but definition is on the D.A.L. page) calculators could work out Operator_precedence. The "Button-operated calculations" section suggest that this is not the case misleading the reader by comparing formula calculation against the weakest of bread. The section ignores that there are stronger button operated calculators where the differences between the technology would be not so apparent. I therefore dispute the neutral point of view.
One more: The text starts with A formula calculator which makes me believe that the article is about a group of software using a technology called formula calculation. From the talk page I get the impressing that the article is perhaps of The formula calculator in which case the merge is a mute point but not the NPOV part because then not technologies but products are compared and there even more care has to be taken not to unfairly describe the competion. For example My FX-602P Simulator certainly follows Operator_precedence and will calculate the given example correctly without the need to rearrange the formula and a HP 50g (or a PC simulator of an HP 50) will probably outperform The Formula calculator in all aspects.
Response to Merge Suggestion
Rather than merge DAL into this article, would it be more appropriate to do one or more of the following:
- Merge it into the Scientific or Programmable calculator articles.
- Make a separate article called Button-operated calculator, that covers DAL and other input modes, different notations, as well as various example software calculators, including those referenced in the article’s Hybrid calculators section.
- Include another reference to your simulator of a DAL calculator in the Hybrid calculators section. There is a reference (28) there to a calculator that has a choice of entry modes, including Precedence Mode, which is similar to DAL. --Fcalculators (talk) 01:58, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
- I am already thinking about option "2". I just did not want to start before getting a 2nd opinion and I think I go ahead with that now. --Krischik T 07:46, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Response to NPOV comment
I can make it clearer what is being compared with what.
In the Examples section, a simple arithmetic, button-operated calculator is being compared with an FC. These are very common software calculators, and probably the most ubiqitous. For example, the following are calculators that don't have a choice of mode and that don't use DAL:
• The referenced calculator, M/S’s O/S arithmetic calculator accessory, which is possibly the most widely distributed calculator.
• The Moffsoft free calculator, which is one of the most downloaded calculators on the web.
• Mobile phone calculators (at least the one on my Nokia phone).
The article also references button-operated calculators that use Precedence Mode (without a choice, as with reference 28), and I have inadverently removed some comparisions with these as part of an earlier edit.
I will need more time to consider this, and I will post a few suggestions later. This will also help with the definition, and the differentiation between different types of operation.
I've redirected the article to Calculator input methods where much of the material has been merged to.
I've left out the section on hybrids because I couldn't understand exactly each of the types was supposed to mean. Need to come back to that paragraph later to investigate.
Also left out the section Written-formula calculations because it needs to be rewritten. Not all formulas are written in infix notation, and the details of what the computer must do to understand infix notation is best left to the separate article on infix notation. Wikicgc (talk) 18:09, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
- A job well done I would say. @Fcalculators: feel free to replace the redirect with a description of The formular calculator - describing the software you wrote. --Krischik T 07:38, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
New Formula Calculator article
Having spent most of the year preparing a new site, which has just been released at www.FormulaCalculator.com, , I will be taking up the suggestion in the next section that I should break the re-direct to Calculator Input Methods and write a new Formula Calculator article.
Definition of "formula calculator"
I am not sure that I agree with the definition of "formula calculator" used in this article. It says that an expression is entered into a "formula calculator" by "typing it in from the keyboard" and it makes a distinction between "formula calculators" and "button-operated calculators". Now my (rather ancient) Casio fx-7000G does not have a keyboard - it has a numeric keypad and the usual function keys that you find on any scientific calculator. To calculate a sine you use the "sin" button; to calculate a square root you press the "√" button. Yet (using the example at the top of the article) if I press the buttons "2", "×", "1", "2", "." "5", "0" etc. it displays the expression "2×12.50+3×(4.75+2×10.50)−7.35". If I then press the "EXE" button the its displays, on a new line below the expression, the answer "94.9". According to the calculator input methods article, this makes it a "formula calculator" - yet according to this article's definition it is only a "button-operated calculator". Which is correct ? Gandalf61 (talk) 11:00, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Response to defintion comments
I first wrote the definition of a formula calculator based solely on usage of the term, and I investigated that usage mainly by searching the web. All the relevant web references found used formula/expression calculator/evaluator to describe software calculators that use full keyboard entry, and a single button or the Enter key, to calculate the final result, with no intermediate execution of operations. Of course, there are very many web pages and I didn’t look at them all, although I did do extensive research. This definition pre-dates the Calculator input methods article.
So, as far as I can see, purely from a usage point of view the definition in the FC article is correct.
However, it is perhaps too narrow to completely exclude all hardware calculators, whatever their features, even though button operation is different to keyboard operation. For example, hardware calculators all have buttons for named operations like sqrt or cos, rather than keys for the individual letters, such as c, o and s, and without full keyboard entry they don’t have Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V for copy and paste, and other key combinations. I have had people say “But with a cos button there are fewer key presses, so this is an advantage”, but it’s not about advantages, it’s about facts. In any case, not every advantage is related to minimum keystrokes, and to acknowledge this, and to get the best of both worlds, there are calculators that combine both methods – for example, . Also, many other tools, such as spreadsheets and databases, use full keyboard entry of calculations.
In the FC article, I was not intending to imply that I was covering all calculators as one or the other of FCs or the button-operated calculators that I contrast them with, and I may need to adjust the wording and expand on definitions to make this clear. There is a very wide variety of simple and complex calculators, including graphing calculators and equation solvers, which necessarily must have an equation entered without intermediate execution, calculators with precedence mode and parentheses, and calculators where the entire calculation is visible after seeing the final result, either as a complete expression or as a tape. So I was not intending to include the Casio as one of the simpler, button-operated calculators, although I would certainly say it is button operated rather than keyboard operated. In the FC article, there is a section called Hybrid calculators, and one of the references there is to a calculator that constructs calculations using buttons before evaluation, similar to the Casio. Also, there is an emulator for the Casio fx-82AU at . Perhaps this is a formula calculator by the FC article’s definition.
I am not sure if the CIM article intends to cover all calculators with its two definitions (it says there are two main types), but the definition of immediate execution – that the operations are executed “when the next operator is pressed” - excludes some calculators with parentheses buttons or precedence mode, such as . This is not a formula calculator, but it is not an immediate-execution calculator either: with 2*(3+4)*5, the first * isn’t executed when the next operator, +, is entered, but when the second * is entered. With this example, any number of operations could be entered between the parentheses before the first * is executed, and so perhaps intermediate execution is a better term for this type of calculator. Also, if the CIM article’s definition of an FC is taken literally, it excludes calculations typed into multi-line edit boxes, which don’t use Enter to do the calculation.
To clarify the definitions, I am considering a re-write of the first section of the CIM article. If the term intermediate execution isn’t used, perhaps an immediate-execution calculator can be defined as one that executes an operator immediately its operands are known. Also, if calculators are differentiated according to when operations are executed and values shown, perhaps FCs, and similar hardware calculators, can be known as final-execution calculators. In any case, there is more to calculator input than the interpretation of keystrokes, and I would also deal with several other ways in which calculators differ in their methods of input.
It seems that User:Fcalculators site has a problem, but an older version is available at web.archive.org
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